I’ve been curious about computer control of home appliances ever since the promising BeOS abdicated its rightful role as a media creator’s best friend and fizzled out in an “appliance control” repurposing. Others have tackled this functionality more successfully through the years, but I personally haven’t found any solution to be all that practical or affordable. Enter Google, who today announced the forthcoming Android @Home. (How many companies are going to claim the @Home brand, anyway?)
The key to Google’s planned success is an open framework that will allow developers to employ @Home for controlling numerous devices from virtually any manufacturer, eliminating the proprietary limitations that have confined other appliance control systems. Lighting, games, the thermostat–@Home is taking aim at your whole life, really. Not to mention that the framework will allow home entertainment devices to access Google’s new cloud-based Music service.